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Scientists Invent Single Lens For 3D Microscopes

What makes this lens special is that it does support 3D - while other applications require multiple lenses to achieve a similar effect. Objects viewed through the lens can be seen from nine different angles.

So far only a prototype lens with the size of a fingernail is available. It is described to look like a gem cut for a ring "with a flat top surrounded by eight facets." Other than gemstones, however, the lens is not symmetric - even if it may appear so to the naked eye. But while gemstones are cut for symmetry, this lens is slightly not symmetric, even if that fact is hard to capture with the naked eye.  “No matter which direction you look at this lens, you see a different shape,” researcher Lei Yi explained.

To build the prototype, Yi said that a commercially available milling tool was used to create the thermoplastic lens made from polymethyl mathacrylate. "The machine shaved bits of plastic from the lens in increments of 10 nanometers, or 10 billionths of a meter – a distance about 5,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair," a press release stated.

It is not exactly a mass-manufacturing method yet, but, of course, the goal is to develop a mass-manufacturing process for the lens. There was no information how long the development process could take.

  • pocketdrummer
    Sounds pretty cool. I can't wait to see what comes of this technology
    Reply
  • joytech22
    If they want to mass produce it, they should sell their first one as the only sing 3D lens in the world and spend the money to build more factories.

    Of course they wouldn't listen to my idea, It's just stupid lol.
    Reply
  • PudgyChicken
    Yet again, Tom's gives us the news a couple days late. C'mon guys...
    Reply
  • the_ub
    this lens is slightly not symmetric
    lol, are all these stories translated or something? Or is the the internet speak for asymmetric.. funny no less.
    And if the pictured lens is the size of a fingernail... WHO GAVE THE MULTIMILLION DOLLAR PROTOTYPE TO A BABY!?!
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    is the pic shown of the real lens or just a image?
    Reply
  • someguynamedmatt
    mayankleoboy1is the pic shown of the real lens or just a image?Apparently it's just an image... it's either the size of a fingernail, or the size of your palm. Non-matching information FTW.
    Reply
  • the lens is actually at the center of the thing, the faceted thing, the rest of it is just the blank, cause you need something to hold onto especially if you need to be doing that precision of machining, the lens would be cut away from the blank when ready
    Reply
  • eddieroolz
    That's pretty awesome. Soon people will be able to take 3D photos without having two lenses on the back.
    Reply
  • fayzaan
    someguynamedmattApparently it's just an image... it's either the size of a fingernail, or the size of your palm. Non-matching information FTW.
    Its the size of his brain! bwahahaha
    Reply
  • FloKid
    Now if we could get 3D without lenses : )
    Reply